Libertarians look ahead to B.C. election

BC Libertarian Party leader favours legalizing sale of drugs and sex, selling BC Hydro, highways and BC Ferries

B.C. Libertarian Party leader Clayton Welwood

They want to scrap the Agricultural Land Reserve and the minimum wage, sell BC Hydro and open ICBC up to private competition, and they’re hoping the turmoil in the United States will get them on the map in the next B.C. election.

The B.C. Libertarian Party elected North Vancouver resident Clayton Welwood as their leader at a convention on the Thanksgiving weekend. Runner-up Josh Steffler of Esquimalt was appointed deputy leader, and both plan to run in their home towns in the May 2017 election.

Welwood said the party has about 100 paid-up members, 35 of whom met in Vancouver on the weekend from as far away as Cranbrook and Fort Fraser. They’re encouraged by stronger-than-usual showing by U.S. Libertarian Party leader Gary Johnson, whose poll numbers have crept into double digits in some states amid discontent with Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Other B.C. parties are also hoping to capitalize on voter fatigue with mainstream politics. The B.C. Green Party nominated former Nelson councillor Kim Charlesworth to run in Nelson-Creston on the weekend, looking to expand the party’s support beyond the urban southwest.

B.C. Conservatives have chosen Dan Brooks to return as their leader for the 2017 election, after he quit the job early this year.

Welwood, a 38-year-old cost controller for an international construction company, said the Libertarians’ individual-freedom philosophy will be extended to issues such as housing affordability as the platform is finalized.

“It seems every time there’s a problem, the solution always seems to be heavy-handed government intervention, even if taxes and red tape are partly or largely responsible for that problem in the first place,” Welwood said.

The party’s draft platform calls for removing restrictions on sale of alcohol, narcotics and sex, and privatizing B.C.’s highways and ferry services.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Castlegar house fire

The fire has since spread to an adjacent property

Zoning hearing scheduled for major Castlegar housing development

Phase two of Twin Rivers Estates needs a zoning change before moving forward

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read